Last Updated: 16th October, 2019
Sargi is an important traditional food which is basically a pre-dawn meal prepared by the mother-in-law for their daughter-in-laws in order to bless her on the special occasion. The women observe fast from dusk to dawn for the long life of their husbands. So, women wake up early in the morning around 4 or 5 am before sunrise and eat a plate full of savouries and sweets. This helps them to keep going without food and water throughout the day. Sargi basically consists of fresh fruits, sweets, cooked food like halwa poori, and dry fruits.
Karva is a significant festival for married women as it gives them an opportunity to openly express the love for their husbands. Karva means an earthen pot and chauth means the fourth day. So, basically Karvachauth is a festival in which offerings are made to the moon using an earthern pot called Karva on the fourth day in the month of Kartik. The festival of Karva Chauth is celebrated every year on the Chaturthi or fourth day in the month of Kartik.
There are two stories behind the celebration of the festival which are given below-
This story is the tale of a queen named Veervati. She was the only sister of seven brothers who loved her deeply. Once she came to her parent's place and observed the fast of Karva Chauth from dusk to dawn. In the evening she became really anxious and was waiting eagerly for the moon to rise as she was feeling the pangs of hunger and thirst. The brothers were deeply saddened by seeing the suffering of their sister and decided to do something in order to provide comfort to her. They kept a mirror in the peepal tree and presented it in front of their sister as if it was the actual moon and asked their only sister to eat something. Veervati, after seeing the moon, broke her fast and ate the meal. Soon after she ate the food the news of her dead husband arrived. She was sobbing and kept on asking goddess why did she take the life of her husband. At that time Goddess arrived and told her that she was tricked by her brothers. This time Veervati kept the fast with full devotion. By seeing her devotion, Yamaraja, the lord of death restored the life of her husband and blessed him with a long life.
Another story associated with the festival is the story of Savitri. There was a woman named Savitri. She was deeply in love with her husband. Once Savitri's husband was taking bath in a river where he was attacked by a crocodile and died. When Karva came to know about the demise of her husband she prayed to Yamraj, the lord of death, to give life to her husband. She did not eat or drink anything for several days. By seeing the enormous love and dedication of Savitri, Yamaraj granted life to her husband. Since then women started observing this fast for the long life of their husbands.
Karva Chauth is a festival which is celebrated with full fervor and enthusiasm in North India. It usually falls in the month of October or November.
In ancient times a huge number of the male population in the northern region were soldiers of the Indian Army and Military Forces. For the safety of their husbands, the women of this region started fasting. The armed forces, soldiers, military personnel participated in the wars and protected the country from enemies while their wives kept fast once in a year to pray for their long lives. Women started celebrating this occasion on a large scale and organised grand festivity. The festival became a grand one and women started decorating themselves beautifully for their husbands. They gifted each other bangles, lipsticks, sindoor etc. to get reminded of the wedding vows and nurture the bond which exist between a husband and wife.
Karva Chauth is observed by the women in North India. Usually, women of Hindu and Sikh religion observe fast on this day.
Although, the festival of Karva Chauth is observed usually by married women but unmarried women also observe the fast in order to get a good husband.
Karva Chauth is a very significant festival for married women in India. On this day married women observe a nirjala fast in which they do not eat or drink anything for the entire day until they sight the moon and later their husbands. The wives pray for the safety and long life of their husbands by observing this fast. They wear their wedding attire and get dressed like a new bride. On this day women do all the shringar (makeup), put mehendi on their hands, wear red saree or bangles.
In the evening before the moon appears, ladies sit together and hear the stories of Karva Chauth and worship Goddess Parvati. Delicious delicacies are prepared, sweets and cosmetics are exchanged. Later, in the evening when the moon arrives women offer water to the moon in a karva and watch the moon through a sieve. Then they watch their husbands through the same sieve. Husband breaks the fast of the wife by making her drink water followed by a sweet. Finally, all the rituals are concluded and the family enjoys a scrumptious meal in the dinner.